Govt welcomes second Energy Chamber’s safety forum

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, October 16, 2019

With oil production set to commence in less than two months, the Government of Guyana says it understands the importance of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) for all, particularly those who will be directly involved in the industry.

The government also welcomed the interest shown by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) which opened its second safety forum at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), on Wednesday.

Ministerial advisor to the Ministry of Social Protection, Alicia Jerome -Reece said the administration is aware that safety and health at work is a fundamental human right.

“The promotion of preventative safety and health culture is a fundamental basis for improving OSH performance in the long term. Government, employers and workers all have a shared responsibility to ensure that the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels.”

With 16 major oil discoveries since May 2015, and the huge potential economic gains expected, Jerome-Reece said it is justifiable that much emphasis is being placed on the economic and social contributions of the energy sector to Guyana’s economy and the country’s readiness to benefit from the oil revenue.

Guyana continues its preparation for first oil with the drafting of the local content policy and the Natural Resource Fund, among others national plans.

“We are cognizant that it is critical to ensure that the required regulatory frameworks and laws are enforced to guarantee the safety of workers in the new and emerging oil and gas sector in Guyana.”

The safety forum underscored the role and importance of safety culture in achieving the desired HSE performance in the hydrocarbon industry. It also evaluated current approaches to safety culture and explore strategies to improve safety culture in the industry.

President of the Energy Chamber, Dr. Thackwray Driver, said safety in the oil and gas and any other sector is an ongoing necessity.

“So, we have people, associations, partnerships as all being important to developing a safety culture… Safety is a never-ending journey, but you need to start.”

Among the topics addressed were Safety and Business Performance, Contractor Safety Management: Meeting the requirements for the international oil and gas industry and Training and Assessment of HSE Professionals.